Chandigarh was the first city to make masks mandatory in public places. While some shopkeepers and salesmen followed the rule in letter and spirit, some didn’t and had pulled it below their chin.
An enforcement vehicle of the Municipal Corporation stands parked right outside the market to ensure that there are no illegal vendors loitering in the area.
On walking through the market in Sector 22 C, shopkeepers can be seen sitting outside the shops to get more customers in, and sometimes coming too close to do so. Aware visitors have to be rude enough to tell them to maintain distance.
Social distancing seems like a distant dream in an 8*8 shop, as most have as many as three salesmen.
Staff inside the shops are often seen having pulled their masks below their chins, which seems of no use as the basic purpose of covering the nose and mouth gets defeated. A shopkeeper was also seen sneezing after lowering his mask, defeating the entire purpose of wearing it.
There was no checking to ensure if people were really wearing masks or not and following it looked entirely like the customer’s own responsibility. “We do carry regular checks to ensure that masks are worn and distancing is followed. But what do we do? It is something that has to come from within. When we go out of sight, many of them lower their masks. How long do we keep standing on their head to ensure these things?” said an enforcement wing official, while speaking to The Indian Express.
A redeemable sight was witnessed at a shop selling accessories, where the salesmen had placed a paper on the counter to avoid direct contact with the surface over which the accessories were placed. They also did not allow any trial of any accessory.
Some shopkeepers, meanwhile, have moved their business online. A shopowner selling dupattas was seen video calling a customer to show them thee product.
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